Seminar tips

Posted on 4:34 AM by Admin


Outline of a typical presentation The first slide has the title, the date of the paper and/or the talk, and your affiliation. If you have a co-author, this is the time to make that clear.
Try to provide a perspective (a puzzle, an empirical regularity, an historical example, a casual observation, a curious gap in the literature, etc.) that you can use as a "hook" to get your audience's attention.
Give an outline of the presentation. It’s not necessary to read from the slide each of the steps of your talk (e.g., literature review, model, data, results, conclusion)--most of those present in the audience can read very well without your help. However, if you want to emphasize a particular part of your talk (e.g.. "I really want to get to the results so I'll skip quickly over the model during my talk. For those interested, the details are contained in my paper anyhow"), point this out right away.
Don't spend too much time on the literature review. The point of the review is to put your paper in perspective. Avoid getting into a long argument about whether you've cited the right group of papers or whether you have misrepresented a literature. You want to talk about your own work, not someone else's.
Present your main contributions right away. It's extremely important that you emphasize your contribution and distinguish what you've done that adds to the literature. You may want to repeat your list of contributions at the end of the talk, but don't try to keep the audience in suspense! Let them know your contribution immediately. This helps the audience focus on how to assess your paper and means that even those in the audience who leave early will have a good idea of what you want them to take away from your talk. 
If you have a model in your paper that is involved and difficult to follow, try to present a stripped down version in the presentation that you can use to develop the intuition for the main findings. Then you can say that in the paper you show that the intuition extends to a richer setting. 
If you put up a slide with an equation, make sure that you read through it so that the audience can follow the notation that you are using. If it's not standard (e.g., "F is a production function with inputs of capital and labor") try to give an economic interpretation of the equation. 
If you put up a graph, make sure that it's clear what's on the two axes and that you describe what the graph demonstrates. 
If you put up a table, make sure that you take one entry and explain clearly what it means in detail and then briefly indicate how to read the remaining entries.
You should have some planned 'slack' in your talk. That is material that you don't plan to cover but that you can include if for some reason you receive fewer or briefer questions than usual. Also, there may be parts of the talk where you anticipate that some audiences will want additional clarification and/or detail. Have it ready, but don't plan to use it unless it comes up in the talk.
Always keep your eyes on the time remaining. If you start to fall behind in your planned pace you should try to adjust your talk by eliminating the least important remaining parts of your talk. Always aim to finish a few minutes early.
End with your conclusion slide. If you have started or plan to begin related research, mention it. Then prepare to kick back and think beyond your paper if that's what the audience wants.




1). Memorizing - this is absolutely the worst way to keep track of material. People are preoccupied with trying to remember the words to say and not the ideas behind the words (or with the audience). As a result, normal voice inflection disappears. With memorizing, mental blocks become inevitable. With memorizing it is not a matter of "will" you forget; it's a matter of WHEN!
2). Reading from complete text - Listening to someone read a speech or presentation is hated by most people. People say, "If that's all they were going to do is read their speech, I could have read it myself." I'm sure many of us have experienced this at least once while attending a conference or two. Below are some reasons why I believe people read poorly:
3). Using Notes - This is the most common way for remembering material. Using notes is better than reading since the speaker can have normal voice inflection and make more effective eye contact. If your notes are on the lectern, you probably won't move very far from them. If notes are in your hand, you probably won't gesture very much.
4).Using Visual Aids As Notes - Simple visual aids can effectively serve as headings and subheadings. Speak to the heading. Say what you want to say and move on. If you forget something, that's okay; the audience will never know unless you tell them.
Practice creating just a few meaningful headings to use and practice using only these headings as your "cues". This will take practice, but practicing using only these few words will force you to better internalize your speech.
10 tips to take a seminar
A speech needs time to grow. Prepare for weeks, sleep on it, dream about it and let your ideas sink into your subconscious. Ask yourself questions, write down your thoughts, and keep adding new ideas. As you prepare every speech ask yourself the following questions.
In one concise sentence, what is the purpose of this speech?
1) Who is the audience? What is their main interest in this topic?
2) What do I really know and believe about this topic as it relates to this audience?
3) What additional research can I do?
4) What are the main points of this presentation?
5) What supporting information and stories can I use to support each of my main points?
6) What visual aids, if any, do I need?
7) Do I have an effective opening grabber?
8) In my final summary, how will I plan to tell them "What's In It For Me?"
9) Have I polished and prepared the language and words I will use?
10) Have I taken care of the little details that will help me speak more confidently?




Method
1) Please communicate clearly with your audience in this area - your presentation should demonstrate that you have evaluated the scientific merits or faults (as discussed in this course) of the research you are presenting, at least for Round 1 (where you present on ascientific paper)
2) For Round 2, please present the results of your project (either the 3 or 9 credit honors project or guided readings) in a way that makes it clear you have developed one or more hypotheses, deduced predictions from it/them, and tested it/them. If you are doing guided readings, you can present your work by beginning with the question or hypothesis that motivated the readings you did. Then, describe the scientific results you found in those readings and whether the results supported your initial hypothesis.
Posture and organization
1) Be straightforward and logical, think of it as telling a story - you want a less expert audience to be able to follow along
2) Be certain to start with a brief introductory summary of what you will cover (outline!!!)
3) Provide sufficient background so that the audience can appreciate the significance of the paper (who cares???)
4) Use visual aids as appropriate, flow-charts can be very helpful when explaining methods and experimental designs
5) At the close of your seminar be certain to summarize the main conclusions and provide the audience with the most significant point(s) from the seminar* (don't leave the audience wondering why they sat through the seminar)
Clarity
1) Speak clearly and 'speak up' - project your voice without shouting at your audience
2) State the objectives, hypotheses and rationale of study right at the start of the talk
3) Be certain to relate the seminar to the larger context (Can we predict something better because this study was conducted? Do have better knowledge of a basic pattern in nature?)
4) Your seminar should be understandable to a general audience (remember: you have read paper or done the research - the audience won't have the same degree of preparation as you)
5) Be certain that you understand the work yourself and do not use a word that you could not explain! (avoid "bafflegab", especially if you don't get it yourself).

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